Friday, March 30, 2007

Nuttin' But Knittin'

Knitting stuff that's come under my radar in the last couple of days. OK... it was yesterday. It just sounds so much better to pretend I had some sort of plan.

  1. Interweave Knits Knitting Daily eNewsletter. You get two free patterns when you sign up (Caspian Socks and Comfort Shawl -- you can see a picture on the home/sign-up page).

    Heaven knows I need the Caspian Socks to do my part for the 5280 Sock Challenge.

    Not to mention I want to knit all the yarn and all the patterns.
  2. Stitch Diva Stunt Knitter Program I got my application. It'll be interesting to see if my "bird by bird" soapbox moment holds up when I'm trying to figure out how to pick up left-leaning increases from purl bumps three rows down.
  3. Bellocq Stockings KAL, and just in time to kill two birds with one stone and get the stockings going (with a little help from my KAL pals) and dive needles first into the 5280 Sock Challenge. Oh, and a third bird to kill with that wooly rock: a gift for my sis-in-law. OH! BIRD NUMBER FOUR!** My brother is almost as psyched about thigh high lace stockings for his wife as he usually is about ugly socks for himself.**
  4. And for Secret Pal 10, we have our first contest.

    My favourite yarn is anything I'm working with right now that doesn't split, shed or hurt my hands. At the moment, I'm going to have to go with Cascade 220 (I'm knitting my Heathers** [actually Knitty's/Sarah Smith's Wavy pattern] in the Cascade 220 Heathers... hence, the name). It's smooth enough to work the needles well and slip through my fingers. It's sleek enough to provide great stitch definition (OK, the Heathers doesn't have a lot of call for stitch definition, but I *know* it would be fabulous for cables). It doesn't shed. It's a little springy and a little bouncy and I wish I knew what "hand" is so I could tell you what a fabulous hand it has. It comes in all kinds of colours, so you could do almost anything you want with it. Whatever else comes up (alpaca? qiviut? cat fur?) I know I'll be using the Cascade 220 again.

    For the record? I *LOVED* knitting with buffalo yarn, but it's so very expensive and way too warm for any but the smallest garments or most serious climates.

    Least favourite? It's a toss-up: Lion Brand Microspun is so soft and so shiny (machine washable, too), but it splits like a banana and I wanted to put my head through a wall knitting chemo caps with it. I actually have the warped idea in the back of my mind to make a pattern that INCORPORATES split stitches so I can make use of the 20 or so balls of various colours of Microspun in my stash.

    The other in the toss is Berroco Cotton Twist, which comes in beautiful colours and I thought it would be great for a baby blanket (not realising cotton isn't necessarily washable/dryable). So I knit a checkered pastel rainbow for Jeanne's daughter, Katy-did, and wanted to put my head through a wall. It split some (not as bad as Microspun, but worth mentioning), but the unforgiving, unbouncy, unstretchy nature of cotton made my hands ache. I'd be up in the night with the sort of pain I associate with my growing pains days. I'm 40. I shouldn't have growing pains. And I suspect the hand on the Berroco Cotton Twist sucks.

    Now, both yarns were lovely knit up, but I hestitate to work with the Microspun or any cotton because of these experiences.

[SUMMARY: Hey! Who put all this knitting here? Where's the vodka? Where's the sex? Where's the soap opera shit storm? WHERE IS KELLY? When did I sign on for KNITTING?]

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): OK, these four birds? They're not related to the bird-by-birds at ALL, see, 'cause the four birds are dead birds killed by a single stone and the bird-by-birds are a device to connote the taking of a task one step at a time. Dead birds. Rhetorical birds. Totally different breeds of birds.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): If you'll visit the comments from yesterday, said brother has eloquently expressed his love of ugly socks, offering yarn and presents of all sorts to the cause of sock knitting... I imagine in the hopes that some of the 5280 pairs of socks will come his way.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): "Grow up, Heather. Bulimia's so '87"

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): I wanted to put a little four-letter word in there to hold you 'til Monday, but it seemed so... contrived. I suspect you think this generally isn't a problem for me (given the Gnu Herd schtick from yesterday), but even I have my limits. Anyway, I promise to distill the drama of the weekend Monday. Oh, yes, there is drama. When is there not drama?

I don't just knit socks, folks, I can knot up multi-act human relationship extravaganzas given the right pointy sticks.

Thought: the pen is mightier than the sword. Where do knitting needles fall in that spectrum?

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